Promote walking among older people in Donostia - San Sebastián

The project consists in helping and encouraging older people to walk along different areas in the city and not only in the centre and y La Concha sea side.
The action was planned by the Mobility Department of the Donostia San Sebastián Municipality inside de AENEAS project with the very important help of the Club Vasco de Camping Elkartea.

Background & Objectives

There is a long tradition of walking among citizens in the city of Donostia San Sebastián. Taking advantage of the flat areas in the city, people use to walk not only as a leisure or sport activity but also as a way of transport. Also among older people, the culture of walking is strongly rooted and, most of them go on walking every day.
The main objective of this action is to encourage people who do not usually walk to join an organised group of people who go on foot twice every month. They have had the opportunity to know different places in the city and to meet people with the same problems and worries as them.

Implementation

As it is said before, walking has had a long tradition in Donostia San Sebastián. Even in the beach in the summer, walking is a common activity practised by many people. Probably this is the reason to organise this action inside the AENEAS project.
The services of one person, who normally works with this group of people in different elderly clubs,  were contracted in order to dynamize these excursions. She has been in charge of contacting people, organising coffee parties and taking photos.
As we saw that more help was needed we contacted with a very active NGO  in Donostia San Sebastián, which is the Club Vasco de Camping Elkartea. The president of the club was the person who helped us with the routes, timing, slopes and so on. When we asked them to help us in these excursions, they join us very motivating way. Some other people from the club were involved as well in the activity.
In the first excursion not many people took part. But as soon as some dissemination was done in the leaflet of +55, some newspaper releases and also the articles in the Dbusberri magazine, this activity has become the most popular of the ones organised by Donostia San Sebatián.
Publicity in buses and the new leaflets printed inside the AENEAS project helped as well to promote all the activities.
Each excursion has been organised with more or less two months in advance in order to be published in the +55 leaflets. Routes also were done before the activity was programmed just to see that length and difficulty were properly designed.

Twenty excursions have been organised inside the program and the number of people who have take part in each of them is between 50 and 60, depending on the day or on the weather. Different places of the city have been visited. Some of them were really unknown by some of the people who participated in the activities were quite surprised when visited them.  We have tried to start them in a central point of the city. But sometimes public transport also has been used, most of it in the beginnings to get to the starting point.
The ends of the excursions always were near an elderly club in order to organise the coffee parties there. At these places normally the prices use to be more economic than in normal bars and people use to be more comfortable in  these places.
Before this coffee party starts the questionnaire must be fulfilled. Otherwise it is quite difficult to push people to do it.
In our opinion, the key elements of this activity have been the publicity done and the participation of a local group in order to involve more people in the action.

Conclusions

The main objective of pushing people to walk is something that in many cases is got before starting. Most of the people were used to walk almost everyday and car was used in few cases. Even though, the most important objective has been one that is not written in the enquiries. Sociability among the people who have taken part has been really important. Some people have had the opportunity to go out with a group of people that they did no know but they have motivated each other to go back next day. Even people from out from Donostia San Sebastián have had the opportunity to join the group.
The routes have been designed in quite comfortable way, just to be covered by every one. And not even bad weather is been an obstacle to go out twice a month.
Now, after have finished the whole programme, every body asked if there was going to continue next year…

Contact Person
Mr. Andrés Martínez
Firm: Municipality of Donostia-San Sebastián
Address: c/ Urdaneta 13, 3ª planta, 20.006 - Donostia – San Sebastián, Spain
Phone: +34-943 48 28 09

Homepage

http://www.aeneas-project.eu/?page=donostia

http://www.vascodecamping.org/

The AENEAS project is supported by:
Inteligent Energy
The sole responsibility for the content of this case study lies with the authors.
It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Communities.
The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.